Thursday , July 29 2021

4 discoveries and controversies left by science in 2018

It was, for example, the year in which a lake of liquid water was exposed on Mars, and I saw how a woman was again awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, the first in 50 years.

  • Who were the two women who won the Nobel Prize in Physics before Donna Strickland

But this year also leaves us with the most obvious ultimatum on the threat of climate change and a controversial announcement about the birth of the first genetically modified babies.

  • 5 simple things you can do to prevent 2030 from being the deadline for a "global catastrophe" due to climate change

For BBC Mundo, these are Progress and disagreements Which marked the world of science in 2018. We remind you in more detail.

1. The ultimatum of climate change

Hands on land

The last four years have been the hottest since the world record began in 1880

The message can not be clearer.

The report "Global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius"Published in October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the IPCC, said that greenhouse gas emissions must reach their peak and, overwhelmingly, begin to fall only 12 years.

  • Why 2030 is the last time for humanity to avoid a global catastrophe

Only in this way can be avoided the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

The report compares the effect of an increase of 1.5 degrees to one of 2 degrees Celsius, which is no longer considered by experts a safe border.

The IPPC confirmed, for example, that with an increase of 2 degrees, instead of 1.5, the sea level will increase 5 cm more than the end of the century, revealing 10 million more people on the risk of coastal flooding.

IPCC scientists say that meeting target 1.5 requires Reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 45% by 2030.

  • 5 simple things you can do to prevent 2030 from being the deadline for a "global catastrophe" due to climate change

2. First Nobel Prize in Physics in half a century

Dona Strickland

Canadian scientist Donna Strickland is the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in physics for the history of the Persians

Canadian scientist Donna Strickland became not only October The first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 55 years, But the third get it in Novell's history.

Before her, the only two women identified in the prize were Marie Curie, in 1903, and Maria Gopert-Mayer, in 1963.

  • Who is Donna Strickland, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 55 years

Strickland won a prize jointly with the French physicist Mérard Rauur for "his method to create The shortest intense laser pulses created by mankind"

Strickland and Mourou stretched laser pulses in time, increasing them to compressed them.

The technique invented by Strickland and Moro was called "Warbled amplification" (The pulse amplification squeaked Or CPA), quickly became the standard method for obtaining high-intensity lasers.

The method is used in millions of corrective eye surgeries performed every year in the world requiring ultra-precise ultra-high precision.

Laser surgery

Strickland and Laser Mourou is used in corrective surgery

The third recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was the American scientist Arthur Ashkin, who was recognized for the development of optical tweezers and their application to biological systems.

  • Three scientists are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for applying the power of evolution to design revolutionary proteins

3. Liquid water and "terrorism" fall on Mars

Lake of liquid water on Mars

The lake is under an ice layer from the South Pole of Mars

In July, a team of Italian-led scientists Roberto Orosi Announced the discovery of A lake of liquid water of 20 km length under the ice of the South Pole of Mars.

  • The fascinating discovery of the first lake of liquid water on Mars

NASA's Curiosity Vehicle explores the remains of ancient lakes on the Red Planet, but Uruzi's discovery was the first on the current water body.

"We are not closer to locating Signs of life on Mars, But this discovery tells us where to look for them, "said Manish Patel, professor of planetary sciences at the Open University or the Open University of Great Britain, to the BBC.

The day after he announced his discovery, Orussi answered questions from BBC Mundo readers.

  • "Mars had water and it was hot for a period of time when the earth was enough for life"

Another important announcement on the Red Planet occurred in November, when the ship Insight Of NASA touched the surface of Mars after the "seven minutes of terror" landing.

An illustration of InSight deploying its instruments on the surface of Mars

InSight will explore the face of Mars with a seismograph device that can penetrate up to five meters deep into the earth of the Red Planet

InSight is the first space probe to explore the heart of the Red Planet.

  • The InSight mission lands on Mars: Why is it so hard to reach the red star?

4. Genetically engineered babies?

He is Jianku

He said that he used the CRISPR technique to change the genes of twins known as "Lulu" and "Nana".

One of the biggest polemics of 2018 was one starring the Chinese scientist He is Jiankui, Who promised in November that they created the first genetically modified babies.

I used an existing technique, CRISPR CAS9, To change the genes of twins called "Lulu" and "Nana" so as not to get HIV.

  • The doubts arising from a Chinese scientist's announcement of the baby's first genetic change

The scientist, whose claims were not independently verified, defended his work at the top of the human genome in Hong Kong.

The message was condemned by hundreds of scientists. Genetics in humans is forbidden in most countries and there is agreement in the scientific community It is still not safe to perform this in humans.

  • Serious warnings from some scientists about the dangers of the technique that revolutionized genetics

Among the visitors he noted that he used a dangerous procedure to prevent disease that can be completely prevented from other forms.

But the underlying criticism is that CRISPR can cause unwanted mutations.

"If this is true, This experiment is monstrous"Professor Julian Savulescu of Oxford University told the BBC.

"The genetic edition is experimental It still has to do with mutations, With the ability to create a genetic problem in people's lives, even if they develop some type of cancer. "

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